Do you have a brewery named after you? Well, I suppose if your last name is Miller, Leinenkugel, or if you were for some reason named Oskar Blues then you might, but chances are you don’t. Technically, neither do I, but I still find it interesting nonetheless. I present to you, Privatbrauerei A. Kropf out of Kassel, Germany.
This brewery is one of my earliest memories of beer, as several bottles of Kropf Dark German Draft have sat dormant in our fridge for the last 18 or more years. But I knew they were there and being of German descendent myself, did I have any relation to Adolf Kropf? Well, who knows. But it’s definitely a cool connection.
The story of the brewery is a bit hard to follow, and poor translations of German websites isn’t making it any easier. But from my research, it looks like Adolf Kropf started a brewery in 1859 in Kassel, Germany next to the Church of St. Martin and eventually opened a Bavarian beer hall. Somewhere along the way, Adolf would work his famous Kropf charm and would marry a pretty young lady named Johanna Brauer Konradine Schulz, also from Kassel. Eventually, the brewery would hit capacity at 24,000 hectoliters and they would move to Cologne, Germany and undergo a major expansion in 1895.
Eventually, both World Wars would come and the brewery would be hit hard (just as today’s Kropf family, with the author having served in the army and deployed to Iraq for 15 months), especially in the second World War as heavy bombing nearly destroyed the brewery. They would recover and get back in the action, and continue doing what they loved; brewing beer.
After this, it appears that the brewery is sold from one corporation to another, and ultimately it ends up branded as Martini Henninger Bräu AG and as a subsidiary of Einbecher Brauhaus in 1997. The Martini logo still carries the twin towers of Church of St. Martin from where it was first founded.
Today, the (now named) Martini Brewery employs 56 staff and in 2002 they produced 120,000 hectoliters with nearly $13 million in revenues.